Jack Antonoff Loves a Good Jersey Diner

The Grammy-winning producer of the year will never outgrow a humble booth at a local greasy spoon.

Jack Antonoff in a diner booth

Jack Antonoff at Legends Diner in Secaucus Photo: Alex Lockett

10-time Grammy winner Jack Antonoff is one of the music industry’s hottest hitmakers. He’s also just a Jersey boy who can’t resist a good diner.

The Bergen County native, who grew up in New Milford and Woodcliff Lake, often hit up local greasy spoons after playing shows with his early bands, Outline and Steel Train.

“There were a few diners which, growing up playing shows in Jersey, we used to go to after the shows,” Antonoff, 39, recalled to New Jersey Monthly in an interview for our March cover story. “A lot of my life was: go to school during the week, and the weekends, I’d play one or two shows. And then after the show at like, 11 pm or midnight, we’d just go to a diner for a couple hours and get home at, like, three in the morning. And that was our life.”

Antonoff’s current Jersey-born band, Bleachers, even shot a music video at one of his old haunts—the iconic Bendix Diner in Hasbrouck Heights—a few years ago. The musician currently has homes in both Long Beach Island and Brooklyn with his wife, the actress Margaret Qualley.

Below, Antonoff dishes on some of his diner etiquette and memories:

Favorite Jersey diner?
“Well, there was [the now shuttered] Louie’s in Teaneck, which I went to growing up. …There was a waitress named Alice…this tiny blonde woman who—you couldn’t tell if she was like, 40 or 90. [She] just was, like, full Jersey…she was a very special person. I grew up going to Louie’s, and that [was] just the best place on earth.” ⁠

How do you take your coffee?
“Black.” ⁠

Counter or booth?
“Booth, always. I love being alone in a booth even if it annoys [the waitstaff]. I just love sort of sprawling out in a booth.”⁠

[RELATED: Why Jersey Is the Diner Capital of the World]

March 2024 cover of New Jersey Monthly featuring Jack Antonoff

Buy our March 2024 issue here. Cover photo: Alex Lockett

Go-to order?
“I’m very basic. I get Greek food…The Greek food’s always the best.”⁠

Favorite time to visit a diner?
⁠”I used to go to a diner on Christmas. I’m Jewish, and I used to go when I didn’t have a partner or anything, and I’d just be home and Christmas didn’t really mean much to me. And I would go to the diner on Christmas—maybe like noon on Christmas Day. And it was a really interesting array of people. There was a lot of sadness in the room.”⁠


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